Design that Shines – Ask August!

From brand standards, to captivating websites, graphic design is paramount to effective marketing. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how great your message may be – if it doesn’t capture your audience’s attention visually, it probably won’t connect. That’s where designers come into the picture – or create it, rather! Designers are a focal point of our digital marketing agency, acting as a creative liaison between web development, photography, content, social media, and management teams.

Our resident design genius, August, challenges the status quo of traditional design, specializing in bringing brands to life through digital art, typography, and more. In our staff Q&A, he chats about his passion for design and CMA’s approach:

What attracted you to graphic design?
I’ve always been a creative thinker. I enjoy applying that creativity to the process of design and visually solving problems.

What are some of the projects you work on at CMA?
I work on brand development and brand refresh projects, among other things. With a brand refresh, we take a brand, identify areas of opportunity, and leverage those to define who they already are. We conduct various stakeholder meetings and analyze feedback to identify common threads and define brand buy-in. With a brand development project, it’s a similar process, but we’re helping the brand discover who they are and who they want to be through a series of questionnaires and face-to-face meetings.

What’s your favorite part about working with CMA’s clients?
I enjoy the holistic approach CMA takes for our clients; making sure we do their stories justice. When developing a brand, we look at common themes we’re hearing from stakeholders and team members to create something that’s educational, useful, and beautiful for our clients, too – not just their consumers.

Is there a specific method for how you approach design problems? What are your tips for effective design in marketing?
We do extensive research including a competitive analysis, reviewing case studies, identifying brand pillars, reverse engineering what similar brands are doing, and diagnosing opportunities. We recommend “showing your work” by creating a brand manifesto, preparing a communications brief, and looking at the overall “how” and “why” a product or service is used.

What are the worst mistakes brands make when using design in their marketing?
I would say it’s anytime a brand’s design doesn’t have longevity. While virality or one-hit-wonders can be effective for certain causes, that can actually end up hurting the brand narrative overtime. After the dust settles, their consumer’s connection to the brand may be lost or forgotten. It’s important to have a sustainable plan when it comes to branding services.

How would you describe graphic design to someone who doesn’t think it’s important to a brand’s development?
Graphic design is essential to capturing the emotional essence of a brand and cultivating it to create something that people can feel and see. It creates tangible visuals from the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions people have. With that foundation, design works to constantly educate the customer.

In a world of endless content, how can you make yours stand out? Exceptional design is a staple in the marketing and branding services work we do at our Seattle advertising agency. If you’re looking for answers to your design questions or need someone to help you step up your design game, contact us today! We make you look good – August and our Creative Media Alliance design team make sure of it.

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